Chinese supersonic ship killer makes U.S. Navy’s job harder

The USS Lassen guided-missile destroyer sails in the Pacific Ocean in November 2009. In a challenge to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy sent the Lassen within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China in waters near the Spratly islands Tuesday. | REUTERS

 

 

Increased interactions between the Chinese and U.S. Navy in the contested South China Sea risk becoming more complicated by the increasingly sophisticated missiles being carried by submarines.

A new report to the U.S. Congress assessing a Chinese submarine-launched missile known as the YJ-18 highlights the danger, noting the missile accelerates to supersonic speed just before hitting its target, making it harder for a crew to defend their ship. Continue reading